Posts Tagged ‘Tribal recognition’

 Dawn Macie poses with some of her Abenaki drums in Rutland, Vt. A new state law gives the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs a process for recommending tribal recognition, which the Abenaki hope will allow them to sell their crafts as Native American and seek federal funding for education and other benefits.  Under federal law, artisans must be members of state- or federally recognized tribes, or be certified as nonmember Indian artisans by a tribe, to sell their wares as Indian-made. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Dawn Macie poses with some of her Abenaki drums in Rutland, Vt. A new state law gives the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs a process for recommending tribal recognition, which the Abenaki hope will allow them to sell their crafts as Native American and seek federal funding for education and other benefits. Under federal law, artisans must be members of state- or federally recognized tribes, or be certified as nonmember Indian artisans by a tribe, to sell their wares as Indian-made. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Here’s the whole story from Lisa Rathke of the Associated Press:

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Members of Vermont Indian tribes have renewed hope for state recognition, which some have been seeking for decades and the Abenaki tribe needs to sell its signature baskets and other crafts as Indian-made.

A new state law creates a process for a Vermont commission to recommend tribal recognition, which the Abenaki hope will also allow them to seek federal funding for education and other benefits.

“It’s not just for us. It’s for kids, it’s for our grandkids,” said Dawn Macie, 51, of Rutland, a member of the Nulhegan band of the Abenaki.

Gov. Jim Douglas appointed Macie, who makes Abenaki drums, jewelry and bags, to the revamped commission, which will meet for the first time next month.

Under federal law, artisans must be members of state- or federally recognized tribes — or be certified as nonmember Indian artisans by a tribe — to sell their wares as Indian-made.

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Elouise Cobell and attorney David Smith explain details of the $3.4 billion Indian trust settlement at a public meeting held on the Salish and Kootenai College campus in Montana back in April. Approval of the settlement funding by Congress has been delayed, most recently in the Senate last week. “We need help in Congress,” she said then in a statement that still applies. (LINDA THOMPSON/Missoulian

Elouise Cobell and attorney David Smith explain details of the $3.4 billion Indian trust settlement at a public meeting held on the Salish and Kootenai College campus in Montana back in April. Approval of the settlement funding by Congress has been repeatedly delayed, most recently in the Senate last week. “We need help in Congress,” she said then in a statement that still applies. (LINDA THOMPSON/Missoulian

Cobell, supporters look to next move in wake of Senate rejection of settlement
The latest setback for congressional approval of the $3.4 billion lawsuit settlement on Native American trust accounts will send its supporters back to the House of Representatives to try again, Mary Garrigan of the Rapid City Journal writes here. Lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell, who is Blackfeet from Browning, Mont., has expressed faith in the backing of House Speker Nancy Pelosi, and South Dakota Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson has vowed to work toward approval.


Oklahoma universities No. 1 in Native college grads

Northeastern State University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma led the list of schools graduating Native Americans last year, the Oklahoman reports here. That’s according to a report by Diverse Issues in Higher Education, which also showed that Oklahoma universities made up six of the top 12 schools, and 12 of the top 100.

Author, filmmaker talks on Native military service
The the history of American Indians and the military is the topic of a lecture tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, in Banning, Calif. Gary Robinson, a writer and filmmaker of Choctaw and Cherokee descent, is the co-author of the 2008 book, “From Warriors to Soldiers: A History of American Indian Service in the U.S. Military.” His short film, “I Am the Warrior,” won third place in the 2009 national Veterans Day short film competition hosted by the National Museum of the American Indian, according to the Banning Record Gazette, here.

Vermont panel on tribal recognition seeks new members

The Burlington Free Press writes here that “a new law that sets up a process for state recognition of American Indian tribes in Vermont has revised the makeup of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and has that panel seeking nine new members.” Gov. Jim Douglas is to appoint the new members by Sept. 1.

Gwen Florio

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The Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs recently recognized six Native American tribes. But those tribes have yet to gain federal recognition. As this USA Today story by Clay Carey illustrates, at least one federally recognized tribe has some objections to the process.

    For years, the tribes have been fighting for recognition, which brings with it federal money and new opportunities for individual members. But the argument over whether men and women … are part of legitimate tribes remains a bitter one.

    Mark Miller, a spokesman for the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation, said the groups are stealing the identity of established tribes.

    “Part of my family, way back, is from Germany,” Miller said. “I can go to Oktoberfest and I can do the songs and dances. But it doesn’t make me a German citizen, and I can’t create my own Germany.”

    A coalition of 10 former state Indian Affairs a letter to the state’s attorney general and secretary of State in late June claiming the vote that made the tribes legitimate was tainted by ethical lapses and unlawful secrecy.

The new tribes are the Cherokee Wolf Clan, Chikamaka Band, Central Band of Cherokee, United Eastern Lenape Nation of Winfield Tennessee, Tanasi Council and the Remnant Yuchi Nation.

The state recognition gives members of the Tribes the ability to identify themselves as Native Americans on loan paperwork, job applications and other documents, and also puts them closer to federal recognition, now granted – although not recently – to more than 500 tribes, which brings additional benefits, Carey writes.

Mark Greene, a Nashville lobbyist who works for the Cherokee Nation, calls the groups “culture clubs” and “Indian heritage organizations.” The Cherokee Nation has sued, asking a county court to void the commission’s decision.

Gwen Florio

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NEW DORMITORY: Surrounded by students from Secondary 6, the Quebec equivalent of Grade 12, Minnie Nappaaluk, president of the Kativik School Board, cuts a sealskin ribbon at the official opening of the new student residence in Kangiqsujuaq, off Hudson Bay, last week. The $6 million residence is called Nasivvik, named by Kangiqsujuaq elder Maata Tuniq. It will house students from around Nunavik who are preparing for college. (Nunatsiaq News/Sarah Rogers)

NEW DORMITORY: Surrounded by students from Secondary 6, the Quebec equivalent of Grade 12, Minnie Nappaaluk, president of the Kativik School Board, cuts a sealskin ribbon at the official opening of the new student residence in Kangiqsujuaq, off Hudson Bay, last week. The $6 million residence is called Nasivvik, named by Kangiqsujuaq elder Maata Tuniq. It will house students from around Nunavik who are preparing for college. (Nunatsiaq News/Sarah Rogers)



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Rescuers save many stranded by early thaw in Manitoba’s First Nations

Spring might be good news elsewhere in North America, but not when it comes early in Manitoba as it did this past week, turning hard-frozen roads to muck and trapping travelers trying to get to remote First Nations communities. Some people were stuck in their vehicles for as long as five days, emergency workers tell the Montreal Gazette. Helicopters and truck convoys were used to rescue them.


Project WIN – With Indian Nations – finds Indian teachers for Indian schools

“All Navajo children leave the reservation, but they always come back,” Shannon Begaye tells the Arizona Republic. “This is home.” The thing that enabled Begaye, who originally planned on being a lawyer, to come home was a project that helps Native people become teachers in schools on their own reservations, something that benefits both teacher and student.


Apache tribe fights copper mine, even as it moves toward approval

A bill now in the Senate would give around 2,400 acres of public land in southeastern Arizona for copper mining to Resolution Copper Co. – a subsidary of the giant Rio Tinto mining company – in exchange for around 5,000 acres around the state. But the mine would go on land sacred to the San Carolos Apache tribe. The Sierra Club and others have joined the tribe in fighting the move. Indian Country Today has the story and a slideshow, here.


Native identity? Or fraud? Penning Tennessee recognition stirs debate

The state of Tennessee is looking at recognizing six tribes, a move the members of those groups say is long overdue. But some long-recognized tribes object. “The idea of state-level recognition for what are essentially social clubs — people who may have Indian ancestry but are not Indians — is offensive to me,” Melba Checote Eads, a citizen of the Oklahoma-based Muscogee Creek Nation, tells the Tennesseean.


School dedicates hoops championship to girls killed by drunk driver

Deshauna and Del Lynn Peshlakai were killed earlier this month by a drunken driver in Santa Fe – just as the Lady Braves of the Santa Fe Indian School were going into the state basketball tournament. The Lady Braves quickly designed T-shirts – Athletes Against Drunk Driving – and went on to win the school’s the school’s first Class 3A state championship. Head coach Cindy Roybal tells the Navajo Times it helped her team focus on their Peshalkais family’s grief, rather than their own concerns

Gwen Florio

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